MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Call him Goose.
West Virginia’s newest quarterback commit, Will “Goose” Crowder, will bring a colorful nickname with him from Alabama when he arrives on campus in 2021.
“It was in the yearbook in elementary school. It was on my report card and everything,” Crowder said of his preferred handle. “Everyone down here calls me Goose.”
As for his given name?
“Maybe 1 in 10 people will call me Will,” he said in a Monday interview on MetroNews Sportsline.
So how does a Goose from Alabama end up committing to West Virginia? On the surface, the answer seems quite obvious — Neal Brown and his coaching staff have plenty of connections in that state from their time working at Troy.
But truth be told, Crowder has had his eyes on the Mountaineers far longer than the Mountaineers have had their eyes on him.
“I remembered Geno Smith and Tavon Austin,” Crowder said. “I remember watching West Virginia play, then going in the back yard thinking I was Geno Smith throwing to Tavon Austin like it was yesterday.”
Of course, there’s a precedent for an Alabama prep quarterback making his way to Morgantown. Pat White rewrote the record books at West Virginia from 2005-08 after arriving from Daphne, Ala.
Alas, those memories date back before Crowder’s ability to form them.
“I’ve heard that name. But I’ll have to look [him up],” Crowder admitted.
Crowder took two visits to WVU before deciding to commit last week. In a way, being stuck home during the coronavirus pandemic helped expedite his decision.
“I always knew in my mind the ideal situation would be to commit before football season starts. With the virus and everything, why wait?” Crowder said. “If that’s where I feel home and where I want to be, there’s nothing holding me back. So I just jumped at it.”
Crowder let quarterbacks coach Sean Reagan know he was ready before giving the official word to Neal Brown. It will be December before he’s actually able to sign his letter of intent, though.
“I enjoyed the [recruiting] process. You have to realize you’re in a very blessed position,” said Crowder, who also weighed offers from Georgia Tech, Memphis, Vanderbilt and Virginia Tech. “I’ve visited West Virginia a couple times and enjoyed it more each time I’ve been. I just felt it was right.”